Daughters of narcissistic fathers have a completely different perception of the world around them. They have to live up to all the expectations others have of them. But that’s not the only thing that they have to endure.
Their self-esteem is usually fairly low, and they have a hard time trusting people, but desperately need validation from others. They are only familiar with conditional love and have no idea how to love differently… If you do identify with some of these things I’ve mentioned, I’m so sorry.
Every girl sees her dad as her superhero, and you can’t quite differentiate if yours belongs to that group, or if he’s rather a villain. Sometimes he treats you like his princess, and other times you’re not even worth looking at.
Your life has been everything but easy, and you’re probably struggling a lot now. All your relationships have some underlying issues that can be tightly linked to the connection you have with your father. That relationship was abusive so, unfortunately, you’re looking for the same now.
Are you one of the daughters of narcissistic fathers?
How can you know if you’re a daughter of a narcissistic father? There are a couple of things that we’ll explain later on, but to put it shortly, you tend to build toxic relationships as an adult. You crave male attention, and with time you become codependent.
Everything that you do in your life is, in a way, an attempt to fix your relationship with your father, so it’s very possible that all your partners resembled him a lot. You keep repeating these unhealthy patterns, and you fail to recognize abuse in a relationship.
Here are some other things that can help you identify the problem, and I hope you’ll be strong enough to seek professional help in order to prevent this from happening all over again.
1. You don’t trust people
Something that you’ve probably noticed by now is that you don’t trust people easily. Because your narcissistic father was using triangulation, gaslighting, and other manipulation techniques, you feel like everybody else is going to do the same.
You couldn’t express your needs or seek support from your closest family members either, which left you completely alone and confused. These relationships are a kind of model for other relationships that you’ll form later in life, so you don’t confide in anyone.
2. Your self-esteem is very low
This stems from the fact that your father was hypercritical, and he was teaching you that you’re worthless. He was invalidating you, your opinions, and the ideas that you’d come up with. Your voice didn’t matter in the household, and that made you believe that you were not good enough.
Later in life, that results in low self-esteem, and you’ll be afraid of pursuing your dream career because you think you’re not good enough. Also, your intimate relationships will be doomed, because you’ll be constantly looking for someone who resembles your dad in order to recreate that relationship.
3. You have the wrong perception of what love is
For you, love is conditional. You have to deserve it, and it can be taken away from you at any time. It greatly depends on your behavior and if you’ve been walking on eggshells or not. Because of this, you tend to become more submissive in your future relationships.
You constantly experience low levels of anxiety because people in your life can easily disappear and withdraw their love from you. That’s the reason why you often end up in an abusive relationship and continue the vicious circle of abuse.
4. You’re an overachiever
Daughters of narcissistic fathers know how it feels when your dad convinces you that you’re not good enough (and that you never will be) no matter how hard you try. Because of that, you tend to be an overachiever in every aspect of your life.
You’re constantly trying to earn his love and admiration, but you keep failing. That greatly affects your self-confidence, because you have an inner voice that’s constantly repeating his words. Your father put unrealistically high expectations of you, and you eventually disappoint him.
This may eventually lead to health problems like anxiety and depression that develop because you’re putting yourself under so much stress.
5. You seek validation from other people
As we’ve mentioned a couple of times by now, your self-esteem is really low, and because of that, you’re constantly seeking validation from other people. Your father was always tearing you down, so you failed to become a strong, independent individual.
Because of the abuse you’ve been through, you’re not completely sure who you are. It’s possible that you’re changing jobs often, and you’re trying to find yourself. You’ll also jump from one relationship to the other, and you may feel greatly disappointed because nothing works out for you.
6. You can’t recognize abuse
Your narcissistic father was neglecting your needs, and he used different manipulation techniques in order to make you do things his way. Because you think this is a normal, loving relationship, you can’t recognize abuse in your other relationships.
As we’ve mentioned before, you end up with abusive partners, and you stay in those toxic relationships because subconsciously, you’re trying to fix your relationship with your dad. What’s even worse, you can even raise your child this way and continue the vicious circle called a toxic family.
7. You’re dependent on other people
Throughout your life, you had to rely on your parents, so as you were growing up, you became dependent on other people as well. Daughters of narcissistic fathers are a great source of narcissistic supply because they give their dads’ a delusion of superiority.
He taught you that you need him in order to lead a normal life. Your father never gave you a chance to prove yourself and to feel confident about your achievements, because he wanted you to believe that you’re helpless without him.
In other words, he was teaching you how to be a victim. Now, you constantly end up in abusive relationships because you’re really vulnerable, and you’re trying to find someone who’ll help you.
8. You crave male attention
Daughters of narcissistic fathers have been trying to please them all the time, and they worked hard to be worthy of their dads’ love. Because of that, as grown-ups, these daughters will do anything to get male attention, even belittle themselves, or engage in some dangerous behavior.
So, if you’re one of these daughters, you’re doing anything in your power to win a guy over, and you’ll compete with other girls. This actually exposes you to the abusers and creates space for more toxic relationships in your life.
9. You fail to set boundaries
Your narcissistic father never respected your boundaries, so he taught you that you don’t need them at all. He always saw you as his possession, as the extension of his identity. He had the right to treat you badly just because you were his daughter.
As a consequence, you won’t be able to set healthy boundaries later in life if you don’t heal and work on yourself. Everybody will neglect your needs and use you as they wish; at some point, you’ll feel like you don’t have the right to create the life you want.
10. You’re a people-pleaser
Unfortunately, the way your narcissistic father treated you during childhood made you a people-pleaser. You had to forget about everything you need and make sure that he’s satisfied and happy. His needs and wants were your priority, and you continue to do that in other relationships.
You had to be there for him all the time, and you actually felt subdued in his presence but considered it normal. You never expressed your emotions because he taught you that other people (namely himself) are more important and that you should take care of them.
Is it possible for daughters of narcissistic fathers to heal?
Since you’ve been raised by a narcissistic father, your image of reality and things that are “normal” is distorted. Because of that, you have to re-learn the basics of relationships, and you have to work on empowering yourself. It’s going to be a tough road to recovery, but you can do it.
Keep in mind that the worst part of your life is behind you and if you’re determined enough, you can achieve anything. Don’t let him control you anymore. It’s time to think of yourself now, no matter how selfish that may sound in your head.
First and foremost, seek professional help if you think that you’re not strong enough to endure the whole process on your own. You have to accept your past and acknowledge the abuse you went through. This healing stage will probably be the most difficult because you’ll have to recall every memory you have.
Don’t think that he’ll change and finally love you the way you deserve to be loved. Narcissists never change, so please, don’t build your hopes up. Rather, set up healthy boundaries with yourself and everyone around you, including your father.
If it’s necessary, and you’re feeling too vulnerable, go “no contact” with him until you’re strong enough to reach out to your dad again. And, last but not least, practice self-care. You have to know your worth, and you really have to learn to love yourself as you are.
Trust me, once you have a healthy relationship with yourself, it will be easy to build strong bonds with others around you. Congratulate yourself for coming this far and don’t give up now. Good luck!